Elder abuse awareness and prevention

Elder abuse occurs when a person in a position of authority or trust harms a senior citizen. That person may be a member of the victim’s family, a neighbour, nurse or caregiver. They might be a person in a position of power, such as a landlord, the executor of a will, or someone with power of attorney.

Elder abuse may be physical, financial, or through neglect. For example, a child or caregiver may push, hit or threaten the victim. A person with Power of Attorney may abuse their power and use finances for their own personal gain. Children may abuse their parents by endorsing a cheque without consent or through is neglect, where the victim is refused food, medical care, over-medicated, or forcibly isolated.

Reporting elder abuse

senior citizen leaning on handsYou can report elder abuse to the Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-855-542-1336. Being aware of the signs and symptoms of elder abuse can help stop these crimes and protect yourself or a loved one from harm.

Preventing elder abuse

You can prevent elder abuse before it happens, by following some of these tips and advice:

  • Have pension cheques deposited directly into your bank account
  • Increase the amount of training your caregiver currently has
  • Regardless of whether you’re living in a private residence or an institution, it’s important that you understand your rights.

You should familiarize yourself with your spouse’s tasks and responsibilities. For example, you should learn how to write a cheque, balance a chequebook, what bills you pay and how to read invoices. This ensures your continued independence should anything happen to your spouse.

Plan and ensure that a Power of Attorney exists for your finances, so that you’re prepared if you ever become dependent. Before signing a Power of Attorney, check with a lawyer or public trustee.

Make sure others check up you and ensure that you’re getting the proper care. Appoint an Executor to your Will and/or someone with Power of Attorney that is accessible by other family members and all parties mentioned in the Will. This will help to ensure that more than one family member can make sure that you’re being taken care of financially.

Be cautious about moving in with someone, or having someone move in with you. Consider possible problems, like lack of space, stairs, noise, or loss of control.

Be cautious about permitting adult children back into your home to live (especially if those children have a history of drug, alcohol, financial or psychological problems).

Services for seniors

Check out some of the services available for seniors in our community:

Federal Government resources:

Provincial Government resources:

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